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Week 9 brings some serious Bye weeks. We’re low on options to begin with and then with salaries constantly on the rise at FanDuel this season, bargains become more and more scarce. These kinds of plays remain the cornerstone of a high upside, high floor lineup however. As always, I’ll let you know whether and how I would use each guy and in some cases why it’s worth spending a little more on a guy.
Editor’s Note: Week 9 is shaping up to be a tough one, with injuries mounting and teams on byes. But you can use these factors to your advantage. Check out the daily fantasy tools, strategy and expert picks on RotoGrinders.com to gain an edge in your FanDuel games.
Brian Hoyer ($6200): I feel like the same guys end up here every week. I’ll spare you Teddy Bridgewater this week, though I’m fine with him as usual against Washington. I was close to saying Colt McCoy after he was decent on MNF, but RGIII saved me from myself there as he will play this week in a nice matchup vs the Vikings. So we have Hoyer. Hoyer has been fine in every game except the one he should have dominated vs Jacksonville. He has at least 200 yards and 1TD, equaling 12-22 fpts, in every start so far except that cake one. So this play, based largely on the nice matchup with the world’s worst overall, run, and pass coverage defense (per PFF) has me on the fence. I think Hoyer and the Browns can take advantage this time.
Colin Kaepernick ($7800): I promised to spare you Teddy, and there isn’t anyone else I feel comfortable recommending, so Kaepernick gets a quick shout out. I’ll be using him in a lot of my lineups because his price is fair, he gets the Rams (allowing 6th most fpts to QB), and he’s coming off the Bye at home in a game in which the 49ers are big favorites.
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Jeremy Hill ($5200): With Giovanni Bernard not practicing because of the hip injury he suffered in Week 8, Hill is almost a must play at this price. I’ve used Hill multiple times this year so far, even when Bernard has been active. Both backs are more effective when the passing game is working, and with all signs pointing to AJ Green being back this Sunday, that should be the case. Getting Jacksonville at home is a dream matchup. With Hill involved in both the running (3 rush TDs) and passing game (13/131), he’s usable even with limited touches. Hopefully, we get to see what he does with a full load in a great situation.
Isaiah Crowell ($4800): I can’t believe it’s come to gambling on Browns backs. Sigh. See what I said about Hoyer above, though. Tampa Bay is literally the worst rated defense against everything, including the run. Crowell has 4 TDs on the season in very limited action, and Mike Pettine just said he would like to see Crowell more involved. It’s a slim week, so if you’re looking to save at RB, you may as well save big. Ben Tate will remain the lead back here, but has frankly squandered some good matchup opportunities so far. I think Crowell is a good bet for a TD at least, and could be this week’s Taliaferro.
Advice: I’m going to use Hill everywhere. I love Mark Ingram ($6100) too. Jerick McKinnon ($6300) gets a great matchup this week, hopefully he can take better advantage than last week, right? Crowell is a riskier pick, but I’ll use him in some GPPs in order to fit more studs in my lineup.
Brandon Lloyd/Stevie Johnson ($5300/5700): SF has a very favorable matchup with the Rams at home this week. While I’ll be rostering Michael Crabtree with Kaepernick in a lot in cash games, either Lloyd or Johnson makes an interesting play as well. All the SF receivers are typically a little boom or bust, but Lloyd has shown he still has the ability to make big plays. He sees 5-6 targets a game…you’re banking on one of them leading to a 40 yd TD with this play. Teammate Stevie Johnson is just $400 more and could be the more reliable option as he’ll probably see a few more targets based on recent usage. This is a volatile offense favored quite a bit at home against a weak defense. I think it’s worth a gamble on one of the secondary options at this price.
Jordan Matthews ($5900): He has been second only to Jeremy Maclin in targets lately, and over the past five games has at least four receptions in each. The problem with Matthews is that he hasn’t scored since his 2 TD game in Week 3 and isn’t racking up a ton of yardage. The other problem is that there just aren’t any viable super cheap WR options that I like this week. In that case, I go with volume. Vegas has this as the 4th highest scoring game in which the Eagles are small favorites, so that tells me we’ll have points on both sides of the ball to keep the game close and the Eagles passing. We’d like to see a Matthews TD to pay off this pick.
Advice: GPP only plays here. I do like saving some money at WR usually, but with the way FD has the WR salaries so tight, I’m tending to use a few in the mid-range. Guys like Kelvin Benjamin, Terrence Williams, Doug Baldwin, Brandin Cooks, and Andrew Hawkins fit the bill.
Travis Kelce ($5400): Kelce plays the Jets at home. While Alex Smith‘s shoulder is putting him on the injury report this week, it doesn’t sound like it should hamper him too much. Keep an eye on it. That said, Smith isn’t taking a ton of deep shots on that arm either. Kelce fits the short yardage passing game well and vs the Jets secondary (4th most fpts to TE allowed) should turn in his best performance on the season. I’m not worried that he appears on the injury report-he rested a bit and played last week and should do the same this week.
Advice: I’m using Gronkowski in almost all of my lineups this week. I will own some Kelce. Beyond that, I’m not very certain which value TE will pay off this week. It could be Larry Donnell, making the most of Cruz’s absence against the Colts soft TE defense. Heath Miller could stay hot in a SNF rivalry game vs Baltimore. Or perhaps Jace Amaro finds a bigger role with Vick (?) at the helm in the tough environment of Arrowhead Stadium.
Cleveland Browns ($4800): They get to play TB at home in one of the week’s lowest scoring games. That doesn’t always pan out but Vegas is right more often than not, and if you’ve attempted to use any of the Bucs offensive players lately you know what I mean. The Browns window is about 4-12 fpts, so expect them to see the high side of that in this matchup. They actually are tied for 4th in the league with seven more takeaways than giveaways.
Minnesota Vikings ($4900): The Redskins will be starting RGIII for the first time in seven weeks. While I don’t believe they’d rush him back if he wasn’t ready–he wanted to play Monday night–I do believe there could be some fallout from a long absence. Miscommunications with WR, botched handoffs, you name it, there will probably be some opportunities for the Vikings to profit. They are well equipped to do so with a defensive TD in each of their last two games.
Advice: There are only three defenses I really want to use in cash games: Bengals, Seahawks, and Chiefs. These sub-5K picks are GPP only for me. Every week we see a defense separate otherwise very similar, good lineups. Owning the Chiefs instead of the Jets made a difference in whether you won in Week 8. It’s worth paying for a good one this week.
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